AQUARNO - Project funded by POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020”

Aquarno is constantly looking for innovative solutions that allow the optimization and mitigation of the environmental impact of its activity.
The purpose of the INNODEPUR project is to experimentally evaluate the possibility of adopting innovative processing solutions in order to minimize environmental impacts and maximize energy and material recovery in two particular areas of interest to Aquarno:
  • tertiary oxidation treatment of mixed urban-industrial wastewater (Fenton treatment);
  • thermal treatment of sewage sludge.

To do this, Aquarno requested the collaboration of the Consortium Polo Tecnologico Magona (CPTM), a research organization that works with the aim of promoting technological research and the transfer of innovation in all sectors of chemical engineering and industry of process and materials; therefore equipped with the technical skills and infrastructure necessary to support research on the aforementioned issues.

Tertiary oxidation
The general purpose of the activities concerning the tertiary oxidation process is the optimization of the treatment conditions currently adopted by Aquarno, in order to reduce the use of reagents and the volume of sludge produced, and therefore the cost and environmental impact of the process.
To this end, two main research lines will be followed:

a) Study of the process and installation possibilities of integration of the current process with an in-line light irradiation system, which increases the generation of OH radicals and oxidation kinetics, reducing the dosage of iron salt.

b) Study of the catalysis in the heterogeneous phase of the oxidative process, through the development and testing of bentonite-based products as a catalyst predominantly of iron for the experimentation of Fenton in the heterogeneous phase

Sludge treatment
The main purpose of the activities related to the thermal treatment of sewage sludge is the laboratory verification of a combination of thermal, chemical and physical processes on the stabilized aggregate, aimed at:
a) maximize energy yield;

b) reduce the mass;

c) reduce the danger;

d) maximize material recovery.

In particular, oxidation tests will be carried out, first in a discontinuous manner to identify the best working point in terms of furnace operating temperature and residence time, and then continuous oxidation tests in a cochlea oven, evaluating the conversion of carbon , the speciation of metals and the composition of the fumes produced as the residence time varies.Finally, the technical feasibility of pyrometallurgical recovery of a metal rich iron fraction, as a crude product of metallurgical interest, and of a faded mineral fraction of possible interest for the cement sector will be evaluated experimentally.